These delicious vegetarian Chinese dumplings are made with cabbage, mushrooms, onion and carrots. They are ideal for serving with Chinese dumpling soup. We made these dumplings and the soup with Eliza from the Little Cat Cafe at the Mulberry Centre in January 2019. This was to celebrate Chinese New Year.
- For the wrappers
- 2 cups (280g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup (180ml) boiling water
- For the filling
- drizzle of cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 peeled and minced garlic clove
- 3 cups (185g) shredded nappa (Chinese) cabbage
- 2 cups (165g) chopped portobello or shiitake mushrooms
- 1½ cups (107g) chopped green onion
- 1 cup (120g) shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari (gluten-free) or coconut aminos (soy, gluten and grain free)
- sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dough – Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon or rubber scraper to stir in boiling water. Continue to stir flour and water until the flour is mostly absorbed by the water. The mixture will be crumbly.
- To knead the dough – Put the flour mixture onto a clean surface. Knead the dough with your hands for 8-10 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth. Sprinkle in a little more flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the board.
- To shape the dough – Shape the kneaded dough into a round disc and using a knife, cut the disc into two equal portions. Take each portion and form them into round discs. Poke a hole into the centre of each disc and shape into a big “O” or bagel, shape, keeping the width of dough even all around. Cover the two bagel forms with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
- To cut the dough into equal pieces – After 20 minutes, take one of the bagel-shaped pieces of dough out from under the cover. Use a knife to cut the shape evenly in half. Take the two halves, line them up next to each other and cut them down the centre again. Now you should have four equal pieces. Line the four pieces up to cut down the middle again. You should have eight equal pieces. Now cut each half in half for a total of 16 equal pieces. Lightly toss the dough pieces with flour to keep them from sticking to each other. Place all but one dough piece back under the towel/plastic wrap to keep from drying out. Repeat process with other piece of dough.
- To make the vegetable filling – Place a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium-high heat. Add oil, ginger, garlic, and cabbage. Cook until cabbage begins to wilt and shrink down. Add mushrooms, green onion, and carrots, along with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Continue to cook until liquid begins to evaporate. Season with pepper, to taste, and salt only if needed. The soy sauce tends to add enough saltiness for my taste.
- To fold the dumplings – There are many different folding techniques for dumplings, from easy to complex. You can find a plethora of ideas online. I like the half moon pleat with children. Place a small spoonful of filling onto the middle of your wrapper. Lightly wet the edges of the circle with water. Bring the two opposite sides together and pinch to seal the dumpling all around so that it forms a half moon shape. Put the finished dumplings on a flour dusted platter and cover with plastic wrap or a towel while you finish folding the rest.
- To steam the dumplings – Use a bamboo steamer or a vegetable steamer. Line the steamer with a piece of parchment paper or a cabbage leaf to stop them sticking. Put your dumplings in the steamer leaving a little space between each one so they don’t stick together. Place the steamer over a pot of boiling water and steam for 6-8 minutes until puffed up and slightly translucent. Serve straight away.
- OR To fry (potstickers/gyoza) – Place 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot place the dumplings in the oil, leaving a little space between them. Cook for 1-2 minutes until turning golden brown. Add 4-5 tbsp water to the pan, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Steam for 5-8 minutes until the water has evaporated from the pan